TEAM Westport’s essay contest is one of the most intriguing events of the year.
This year’s prompt is particularly interesting and challenging:
Recently, several professional athletes have “taken a knee” during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to bring attention to — and to protest — ongoing bias and discriminatory practices in American society in general, and by law enforcement officers in particular.
In reaction, some people have called these athletes “unpatriotic.” In 1,000 words or fewer, describe your understanding of what it means to be a patriot, what kinds of behavior you think would be unpatriotic, and what forms of protest against discriminatory laws, customs, or patterns of behavior you would consider legitimate.
Organizers want as many students as possible to participate. Because of bad weather and other events at Staples High School, TEAM Westport has extended the deadline for submissions. It’s now 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.
The contest — co-sponsored with the Westport Library — is open to students in grades 9 through 12 who attend Staples High School or another school in Westport, or who live in Westport and attend school elsewhere.
Applications are available here. The deadline is March 13. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the library on April 2. Based on the volume and caliber of entries received, judges may award up to 3 prizes. First prize is $1,000; 2nd prize is $750, 3rd is $500.